Information on Possum Walk Cr.

Possum Walk Cr.

	Rating: IV-V (P)
	TDCR: 8966
	Location: To reach the put-in go 0.25 miles North from Drasco
		(intersection of Hwy 5/25 and 92) on Hwy 5/25. Continue
		North on Five Mile Road 1.75 miles to the first bridge.
		Please park on the South side of the bridge. To reach the
		take-out, go approximately 6 miles West from Drasco on
		Hwy 92 turn North on Hwy 263. Go 1.5 miles and park at
		the Public Access on the North side of the bridge over
		Greers Ferry Lake.
	Topo Quad(s): Drasco and Prim 
	Gradient: 100 fpm (3/4 mile at 200+ fpm)
	Length: 2.4 mi (plus a few miles on Racoon and Beech Fork Creeks)
	Season: FLOOD
	Gauge: No official gauge. Look for 1.5" or more rain in the area.
		Rain must have fallen within the last 6 to 12 hours. If the
		bottom bar on the white water-fence at the put-in bridge is
		partially underwater, it's a definite run.  It should really
		look fairly low at the put-in for a good level.  If there's
		water filling most of the streambed under the bridge, the
		gorge will be extremely dangerous, and waiting for the water
		level to drop may be the only good option.
	Hazards: Undercut ledges and rocks, overhanging branches, strainers.
		Very tight in places (some very nasty pinning hazards).
		"Possum Hole" is a portage at higher water. 
	Description: First known descent was January 22, 1999 by Randall
		Gammill, Lance Jones, Chris Anderson, Cowper Chadbourn,
		Bill Herring, Steve Robertson, Zack Smith and Billy
		Williams. Don't let the 100 fpm gradient fool you, that's
		for the full 2.5 miles of the creek. The first 3/4 mile is
		only 25 fpm. The meat of the run has a 3/4 mile section at
		200 fpm, within lies a 1/4 mile section at 270 fpm and a
		maximum gradient around 310 fpm. The first 0.75 miles
		consists of a flat water warm up with a few riffles,
		followed by a couple of actual small rapids. Then the
		first notable drop: a little straight forward slide over
		some smooth boulders. Now the meat begins. The next drop
		is the "Possum Pinch", fast current that is pinched into a
		slot just a few inches wider than a boat. The pool below
		the pinch marks the start of the "big five". 
		The first one, "Road Kill" is a short complex drop of about
		10-12 feet, which ends in a nasty slot. The best option is to
		portage over the right ledge and run the sneak around the bottom
		on the right. The second is a tight sluice into an S-turn. Enter
		the sluice, avoid the first pin rock turn hard right over the
		drop and avoid the second pin rock, then finish with a hard
		left over the bottom of the drop. The third drop is
		immediately below. A huge undercut boulder forces the current
		far left and creates an eddy to the right. Watch out for the
		vortex sucking things under the boulder. A hard turn to the
		right around the boulder and off a steep 6 ft drop, followed
		with a small drop into a small eddy-pool. The fourth drop, "Possum
		Stew" is a long complex rapid with several rocks and holes to
		negotiate with a 5-6 foot drop in the middle. This drop
		was portaged by all during the first descent due to a
		large tree across the creek. This drop feeds the last of
		the big five, the "Possum Hole". Large boulders block the
		path. The left line is through a pyramid shaped hole (at
		the right water level). The right line requires a hard 90+
		degree turn to the left in front of a killer undercut
		slot (this is one of the worst slots that this boater has
		ever seen). Portage high on the right or climb over the
		log debris on the left and wade through another pyramid
		shaped hole then run the bottom part of the drop. The
		creek continues intensity with some nice rock jumbles,
		slides, and ledges. Notable drops are "Boof and Slide",
		"Snake Eyes" and "Possum Pie", the last being a complex
		drop (boof-slide, dodge, line up, over the 6 ft narrow
		drop, avoid the tree and rock partially blocking the
		outflow). The gradient continues to level off until the
		confluence with Raccoon Creek. Raccoon contains some good
		surf waves and decent current in the pools then joins the
		Beech Fork for some nice volume. Several big waves and big
		pools and one monster hole near the end. Finish with about
		a 3/4 mile paddle across the NE corner of Greers Ferry
		Lake to the Hwy 263 bridge. Like other micro-volume
		creeks, meaningful ratings are difficult to establish on
		the accepted International scale. At lower levels, the
		creek will seem like a very technical class IV, with
		much rock bashing, scraping, and some portages. At higher
		levels, several rapids become solid class V.  At 
		any level, the creek contains many serious hazards, and 
		any paddlers without experience negotiating undercut rocks 
		on tight, steep creeks should think twice before trying to 
		tame the Possum.  Thanks go to Lance Jones and Randall Gammill 
		for information about Possum Walk Creek.

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